Gary Campbell is the keeper of the Official Sightings Register at Loch Ness. In an article today in the Daily Record, he says that even after 20 years of this project, sightings still continue.
Gary Campbell, keeper of the register, said the fascination of Nessie was showing no signs of abating.
He accepted five sightings for 2015 – the most in 13 years.
Hoaxes and those that can be explained are not logged. The mystery, he says, remains unsolved. It appears that any reported sighting that can’t be easily explained is logged as evidence of a bigger “mystery” and the “mystery” is subsequently turned into a singular mystery “creature”. Through mass media magic, an unknown phenomenon (or multiple phenomena) morphed into a plesiosaur-like monster living in the loch. Living plesiosaurs in Loch Ness is an absurd and unscientific conjecture. However, that the Loch has some strange surface phenomena is not in doubt. But, Campbell connects the phenomena reported at the Loch not only with Nessie, a real creature, but with a long historical record (since the story of Saint Columba).
“It’s 1450 years now since the first report of a monster in Loch Ness – it doesn’t look like Nessie’s going anywhere just yet.”
This is bogus reasoning. The Nessie mystery is long-solved. It’s not one neat and clean explanation but there is no monster. He’s right in that she’s not going anywhere because tourism is too big of a hook for this area. Even though this would have to be an animal that does not breath air, doesn’t die, doesn’t have babies, and can live on sparse food supplies and avoid detection during thorough scans of the water body, it’s still “real” to some who can’t let go of that cherished belief. There’s nothing very harmful about myths and local legends but what about those for which this has become the basis for their life’s work?
This is an interesting question: when do you call a mystery finished and move on? Jason Colavito wrote a post about this called “How Long Do You Give a Fringe Idea to Yield Results?” He told of the realization that UFO researcher John Lear spends a huge portion of his life, “8 to 12 hours every day the last 15 years” looking over evidence for UFOs that has all come to nought. Really, it’s time to give up. I recall Rene Dahinden’s feelings that maybe, after all his time spent not finding Bigfoot, he realized that maybe it wasn’t out there at all. Or, the decades of research into psi that is producing no better evidence (but rather worse results under scrutiny). Several of those who have pursued these topics are so invested – monetarily and emotionally – that they can’t be objective and see the reality.
In some instances, it’s true that we don’t have the technology necessary to solve a mystery. For example, in Jack the Ripper’s time, DNA ID or even camera technology might have solved this classic criminal mystery. Technology plays a huge role in the Nessie tale as well with various remote sensing devices used to scan the water and live video watching the surface. No new animal has been found. Trail cams haven’t found Bigfoot. We have no Bigfoot DNA. So much technology is available today! It allows us to study subatomic particles and to discover thousands of planets outside our solar system. We all have cameras and recorders in our pockets at all times. Yet the evidence for beasts living in a Scottish lake or a stretch of forestland eludes us. The evidence that we are being visited by aliens or beings from other times or dimensions can’t be documented. To this day, ghost hunters are convinced that a technology breakthrough will be the key to proving ghosts are real. Research into these fields give nothing but diminishing returns where, if there was something to them, they would be progressing. It is revealing to NOT have evidence where there should be some. So many have looked for so long.
It’s long past time to say that there is no Bigfoot or Nessie unknown species out there. And there’s no reason to think that any technology will reveal spirits of the dead or alien visitors since what we have now doesn’t even hint at that eventuality.*
We must keep open to new evidence in case something astonishing is found. But odds get longer everyday. At a certain point, each thinking person pursuing these subject areas has to decide if and when they are going to function as if these things DON’T exist as hoped, stop the effort or reformulate it entirely, and get on with life.
*Please don’t take this to mean not to keep inquiring and investigating; it means that it’s probably time to reformulate the question with different premises and assumptions.